SEOUL, Oct. 5 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s manufacturing activity gathered ground for the fourth straight month in September but remained below par amid the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, a global market researcher said Monday.
The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) of the country’s manufacturing sector stood at 49.8 last month, up 1.3 points from the previous month, according to a survey by IHS Markit.
Yet the September figure was below the 50-point mark that separates contraction from expansion. PMI is a key measure of factory activity in a country.
IHS Markit said South Korea’s manufacturing industry is showing signs of pulling out of the worst level, but it could take longer to rebound if sluggish demand persists.
The findings also showed South Korea’s corporate production climbing for the first time in eight months in September amid a downturn in total orders and employment.
South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy, has been pounded by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic that has sent its exports and private consumption hitting the skids.
The novel coronavirus, with the first case confirmed in South Korea in late January, has infected 24,091 people here, with the death toll reaching 422.